Dogfight: new musical expected summer 2012

Second Stage Theatre will conclude its 33rd season with the World Premiere of the new musical, Dogfight, featuring music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, a book by Peter Duchan and directed by two-time Tony Award winner Joe Mantello ('Assassins,' 'Take Me Out.')

The musical will be performed at Second Stage's Tony Kiser Theatre this summer. Exact dates, casting, and complete creative team will be announced shortly.

Dogfight: It's 21 Nov 1963. On the eve of their deployment to a small but growing conflict in Southeast Asia, three young Marines set out for one final boys' night of debauchery, partying, and maybe a little trouble. But when Corporal Eddie Birdlace meets Rose, an awkward and idealistic waitress he enlists to win a cruel bet with his fellow recruits, she rewrites the rules of the game and teaches him the power of compassion.

The musical is based on the 1991 Warner Bros. film of the same name, featuring screenplay by Bob Comfort. The movie, directed by Nancy Savoca, starred River Phoenix as 'Eddie' and Lili Taylor as 'Rose.'


Benj Pasek and Justin Paul'S current projects include 'A Christmas Story' and 'James and the Giant Peach.' Other works include 'Edges,' 'Sesame Street,' 'Johnny & the Sprites,' 'Duck for President' and 'If You Give a Pig a Pancake.' In addition to the 2011 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theatre, which they received for Dogfight, they have received the 2011 Sundance Institute Fellowship, 2011 ASCAP Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award, 2011 ASCAP Songwriters Fellowship Award, 2007-2008 Dramatists Guild Fellowship, 2007 Jonathan Larson Award, 2010 Fred Ebb Award Finalists, Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, and "50 to Watch" from Dramatist Magazine. They both received BFAs from the University of Michigan in Musical Theatre.

Book writer Peter Duchan co-wrote the screenplay for "Breaking Upwards," released by IFC Films in 2010. He also served as Associate Producer of the movie, which premiered at South by Southwest in 2009. He co-wrote a short, "Unlocked," an Official Selection of the Tribeca Film Festival, among others. His play, 'Lavender Scare,' was presented as part of the Geva Theatre's 2011 Plays-in-Progress series. Peter graduated from Northwestern University.

Joe Mantello is currently represented on Broadway by 'Wicked' and 'Other Desert Cities.' He has also directed 'The Pride,' 'Pal Joey,' '9 to 5 the Musical,' 'November,' 'The Receptionist,' 'The Ritz,' 'Three Days of Rain,' 'The Odd Couple,' 'Glengarry Glen Ross' (Tony nomination), 'Laugh Whore,' 'Assassins' (Tony Award), 'Take Me Out' (Tony Award), 'Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune,' 'Design for Living,' 'The Vagina Monologues,' 'bash,' 'Love! Valour! Compassion!' (Tony nomination), 'Proposals,' 'The Mineola Twins,' 'Corpus Christi,' 'Mizlansky/Zilinsky,' 'Blue Window,' 'God's Heart,' 'The Santaland Diaries,' 'Snakebit,' 'Three Hotels' and 'Imagining Brad.' Film: "Love! Valour! Compassion!" As an actor, he has appeared in 'The Normal Heart' (Tony nomination), 'Angels in America' (Tony nomination) and 'The Baltimore Waltz.' He has received Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes, Clarence Derwent, Obie and Joe A. Callaway awards. He is a member of Naked Angels and an associate artist at the Roundabout.

Lili Taylor & River Phoenix in a scene from the movie 'Dogfight'

Originally published on

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